BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Officials in Buffalo are welcoming the expansion of ride-sharing services as a way to reduce alcohol-related crashes.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown joined Erie County District Attorney John Flynn and local law enforcement leaders Wednesday to praise the arrival of ride-hailing companies Lyft and Uber in upstate New York.

A state law allowing ride-sharing services to expand beyond New York City went into effect just after midnight Wednesday. The two ride-hailing apps had been limited to picking up passengers in the Big Apple until lawmakers voted this year to permit the expansion.

The original legislation called for the ride-hailing services to begin upstate and on Long Island July 9, but Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature worked out a deal to push up the start to 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

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